[India], Feb. 12 (ANI): Indian all-rounder Yusuf Pathan has become cricketer from the country to sign a deal with an overseas franchise-based T20 league after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) allowed him to feature in the Hong Kong T20 Blitz.
The 34-year-all was on Saturday unveiled by Kowloon Cantons for the second edition of the tournament that will be played from March 8 to 12. Apart from Yusuf, Kowloon Cantons have already picked up Pakistan's Shahid Afridi and England's Tymal Mills and Scotland's Calum MacLeod.
Other prominent signings for the league include Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan, West Indies' Darren Sammy, New Zealand's James Franklin and the former South Africa offspinner Johan Botha.
Chief executive of Cricket Hong Hong, Tim Cutler, thanked the BCCI for clearing Yusuf's participation in the tournament, saying his presence would prove to be a big boost for the game in the country.
"This is amazing news and we are very appreciative of the BCCI in granting this NOC [Non Objection Certificate]," ESPNcricinfo quoted Cutler as saying. "This will go a long way to help the development of the sport in the region and with even more stars still to be announced this is shaping up to be a superb tournament that will be enjoyed by millions across the world."
Both the BCCI as well as the Baroda Cricket Association have provided a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to Yusuf.
The 34-year-old, who has represented Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League (IPL), has scored 2761 runs over the nine editions of the league, and is among the top-15 run-getters.
Hong Kong T20 Blitz, which is a four-team event, also includes Galaxy Gladiators Lantau, City Kaitak and Hong Kong Island United. (ANI)